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Phil Taylor
England

  • Full name Phil Taylor
  • Birth date August 13, 1960
  • Birth place Stoke
  • Current age 54 years 131 days
  • Height 5 ft 8 in
Phil Taylor pictured after beating Simon Whitlock in the final of the World Darts Championship
Profile

Darts throws some shocking nicknames the way of its players: Barrie 'Batesy' Bates and Mervyn 'The King' King, being but a couple. The Power, though, is a moniker bestowed on Taylor and is entirely appropriate for the greatest player to throw a dart.

Taylor, along with the backing of darts overlord Barry Hearn, has transformed the game from a perceived game played in a pub by middle-aged men to a crowd pleaser that attracts huge audiences.

Taylor has 16 World Championship wins to his name, but that is the mere tip of the iceberg and is a quite stunning achievement for a player who started his working life as a ceramic toilet holder maker - or so the legend goes.

Darts was a hobby to Taylor through his teenage years, but he was spotted by the legendary Eric Bristow who cajoled Taylor into taking up the game full time. Taylor qualified for the World Championship in 1990 and went on to beat his mentor Bristow in the final. He was beaten by Dennis Priestley in 1991, but regained the final in 1992 with an epic victory over Mike Gregory - a contest Taylor still rates as the finest match of his career.

Taylor joined the breakaway World Darts Council - later to become the Professional Darts Council (PDC) - and the move although controversial led to a revolution and resurgence in the game. After losing the first PDC final to Priestley in 1994, Taylor embarked on a period of total dominance - winning every final from 1995 to 2002. Defeat to John Part in 2003 ended the run, but he hit back with a thrilling win over Kevin Painter in 2004 and won again in 2005 and 2006. The Taylor stranglehold was broken in 2007 by Raymond van Barneveld and he lost in the quarter-finals of the 2008 championship - leading some to suggest his star was dimming.

Taylor went in search of a new set of darts to revive his fortunes and it proved an inspired move as he dominated once again and reclaimed the world crown at the start of 2009. He went on to dominate the 2009 campaign and capped a memorable run with victory at the 2010 World Championship.

Darts' holy grail is the nine-dart finish, many feel it is harder to achieve than a maximum break in snooker, and Taylor has achieved the feat on a number occasions on live television - the first being at the 2002 World Matchplay Championship.

Taylor added the Premier League crown to his list of wins in 2010 and in the final made history by hitting two nine-dart finishes - a feat never before achieved - and his and darts' achievements were recognised when he finished runner-up in the Sports Personality of the Year award.

Not satisfied with that, he ruled the world for a 16th time in 2013 after one of the highest-quality finals of all time against Michael van Gerwen, and the magical 20 marker is as close as it has ever been.

Career high: Where to start? There have been some great moments in his career but the World Championship final win over Kevin Painter in 2004 had everything. The match see-sawed, Painter played the game of his life, but still Taylor had enough to win the match in the sudden-death leg.

Career low: A player so dominant has had few dips, but his quarter-final defeat by Wayne Mardle in 2008 hit him hard. Mardle may have lost fans on the circuit, as Taylor has not looked back since.

Trivia: Although he was cajoled into taking up darts full time by Bristow, a loan of £10,000 which enabled him to practice full time certainly helped.

Quote: Taylor outlined his plans for darting domination in 2009: "I want to win everything this year. I am the new Nadal - and I am better looking than him."

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Dec 21, 2012

Phil Taylor makes his way to the stage

Dec 21, 2012

Phil Taylor takes aim as Jerry Hendriks walks past

Jun 10, 2012

Phil Taylor celebrates a win

Dec 27, 2011

Dave Chisnall is congratulated by Phil Taylor

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